Craft gin launched by LEP-backed distillery

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A new craft gin has been launched today by a Suffolk business which received support for the venture through New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Covid support scheme.

Melford’s Gin is the first premium craft gin to be produced by Nethergate Distillery in Long Melford, part of the Nethergate Brewery which was among the companies across Norfolk and Suffolk to benefit from the LEP’s Business Resilience and Recovery Scheme. In total, £5.6m in grants were paid out to 146 projects.

Having ridden the Covid storm that rocked much of the brewing and hospitality industry, Nethergate is launching this delicious new tipple in defiance of the challenges brought about by the pandemic and to breathe more life into the region’s burgeoning food and drink industry.

Creating a new product is a big undertaking for any business at the best of times, but with the pandemic acting as a real blocker for many, Nethergate persevered to develop a new product – to the excitement of the local community.

Melford’s Gin is lovingly crafted with a classic Suffolk Dry Gin recipe and has been designed to celebrate Long Melford and Sudbury’s connection with the county’s beautiful countryside and world-famous weaving heritage. Its bold, opulent design, created by local creative design studio Hills Creative, proudly raises a glass to Long Melford’s local history in a modern way, paying homage to the famous paisley patterns woven in the area.

It’s made using two quirkily named stills ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ – due to the in-tandem partnership when crafting the spirits. Clyde is a 1,000-litre wash-still and is a big beast designed to develop alcohol spirit from the ales already brewed by Nethergate. Bonnie is a beautiful copper 300-litre column still, which takes the spirit made by Clyde and then, with the added botanical mix blended by the distilling team, will create the first of many great tasting spirits.

John Holberry, Managing Director of Nethergate, said: “This is a really exciting development for our business. We have a passion for brewing – firmly established in the local area for over 35 years and the addition of this distillery further fuels our appetite to create unique Suffolk-based drinks. So much hard work has taken place in the face of Covid adversity to make this happen and I couldn’t be prouder of our team.”

Nethergate General Manager Rob Crawford said: “This [LEP] grant really allowed our business to move forward at pace and secure the vital equipment needed and help with key training for our staff. It is a really great initiative and we are very grateful for their help.”

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